Above: Sicily, where the desert meets the sea.
Happy new year everyone! Buon anno a tutti!
It's been nearly seven years since Sotto first opened its door and we first launched our southern Italian wine list there.
So much more southern Italian wine is now available in California than when we pulled our first cork way back when. And now more than ever, we're seeing more and more great wines — red and wine — finding their way to the west coast from what was once called the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies.
Another trend that we've been noticing is how much great wine is coming out of Sicilly these days. The island has always been a source of great winemaking and great wine. But over the last two years, it seems, more and more small producers are finding channels to get their labels to America.
We believe it's because more and more American importers are looking to Sicily for undiscovered gems of Italian viticulture. And to borrow a phrase, the last two years have a marked a true Gold Rush in Sicilian wine.
This is why we've decided to make the spring our "Season of Sicilian Wine" at Sotto. We're going to feature producers from our favorite appellations and even some off-the-radar wines that some of our guests may have never run across.
But we are also going to look to some of the unsung classics of Sicilian grape growing and winemaking, like Feudo Montoni, a winery that has been producing some of Italy's greatest wines for generations now.
And we're not going to be afraid to turn to some of the bigger producers either. There's a tendency among wine professionals today to avoid anything that people already know. If it's not a hipster wine, they won't even look at it let alone taste it. That doesn't mean the wines don't deserve our attention. Nor does it mean that they aren't lip-smackingly delicious.
So stay tuned: We'll be launching our new spring list in early February. Evviva la Sicilia!